The State Government has decided to send Principal Secretary, Higher Education, Lata Krishna Rau, to New Delhi on Friday to meet Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal and All-India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) officials to convince them of the need to revert to the system of considering 45 per cent in PU as eligibility to take up engineering courses instead of the present system of 50 per cent for general merit students.
Disclosing this at a press conference here on Wednesday, Higher Education Minister V.S. Acharya pointed out that the new norm had resulted in about 17,000 students missing out on the opportunity to study engineering courses as they had not been awarded ranks in the CET.
Till now, the eligibility criterion for general merit students was 45 per cent in PU, while it was 40 per cent for SC/ST students. But the AICTE increased the eligibility criterion to 50 per cent for general merit students and 45 per cent for SC/ST students from this year.
Mr. Sibal was yet to respond to a letter from the State Government in this regard, Dr. Acharya said.
Several other States too were upset over increasing the eligibility criterion. The Gujarat Government had even challenged it in court. Even the Tamil Nadu Government had made it clear that it was opposed to increasing the eligibility criterion, the Minister noted.
He said the Government would formally sign an agreement with the managements of private professional educational institutions in a day on seat sharing as well as fee structure. Accordingly, the private engineering colleges which charge an annual fee of Rs. 30,000 for students from the government quota would be allowed to collect a fee with an upper ceiling of Rs. 1.25 lakh from COMED-K students. Similarly, private colleges which charge a fee of Rs. 35,000 for government quota students would be allowed to collect up to Rs. 1 lakh from COMED-K students, he said.
In these colleges which charge Rs. 35,000 for government quota students, the Government would provide a subsidy of Rs. 5,000 to each of the students from its quota if their CET ranking was below 20,000 and if their family income was below Rs. 2.5 lakh an year, he said.
Dr. Acharya said the State Government had cleared a proposal for setting up three private engineering colleges.